Most people would agree that authenticity is the currency of meaningful relationships, and self-reflection can be a springboard for positive change in your life. Keeping a firm handle on your conscious mind requires commitment and clarity -- and it may just be the way to "catch the small droplets before they become a flood," says leadership consultant and writer Bruna Martinuzzi. Reexamining your thoughts and beliefs makes your mind healthier and may help you stay cool under fire, and that, in turn, will liberate your mind so that you can focus on becoming a better parent, leader, co-worker and friend.
It's critically important to change your perspective every once in a while, in order to see yourself and the world in a new light. Change is never easy, no matter how necessary, but that hasn't stopped millions of people from trying; hankering for a change has a natural appeal for most of us. It is estimated that in the United States alone, we spend over 10 billion dollars annually on self-improvement products and services per year, and that number is estimated to soar upwards of 13 billion by 2022. We are heavy investors in our own "personal futures" market spending money on the best seat we can afford onboard an upgraded emotional, mental, and spiritual train.
Yet with so many external factors bombarding us day in and day out, taking the time to reboot and realign our inner selves might seem impossible. It's a challenge, yes, but if you don't commit to an inner journey of exploration in order to truly assess who you are and how you present yourself in the world, much unhappiness can follow. Keep in mind that it is a waste of time to put your focus on the outside, for the only thing that you can really control is how you feel, and what you do and say. Therefore it's an "inside job." Don't fall into the trap of wasting energy on wishing that the people -- and situations- in your life could "only be different." Again, this is an external focus. Instead, observing and reflecting on your thoughts, your beliefs and how they create your feelings -- which in turn create your behavior -- is the only way you can truly achieve happiness and peace.
Having trouble getting started? Sometimes all you need is some solid inspiration. The following quotes may spark an idea, or even kick-start a personal campaign for change.
1. "Most of the people drive down the freeway of life looking in the rear view mirror." -- Marshall McLuhan
2. "Everyone can tell you where they have been, what their story is, what has been important to them and what they like. Ask them where they are going, what changes they will embrace, and they struggle to answer. Most people don't live with a forward-facing vision and are anchored in the known, the familiar, and the past." -- David Houle
3. "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." -- Rumi
4. "You're always being led to your highest good, as long as you have the courage to listen." -- Marie Forleo
5. "Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state, you don't need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?" -- Dr. Joe Dispenza
6. "Letting go doesn't mean forgetting, it just means we stop carrying the energy of the past into the present." -- Yung Pueblo
7. "Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over, instead of craving control over what you don't." -- Steve Maraboli
8. "Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." -- George Bernard Shaw
9. "We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers -- but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change." -- Katharine Hepburn
10. "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." -- Wayne W. Dyer
11. "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." -- Brené Brown
12. "I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." -- Steve Jobs
13. "Warning: when feelings become the means of thinking, or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self." -- Dr. Joe Dispenza
14. "It isn't too late. Time is not running out. Your life is here and now. And the moment has arrived at which you're finally ready to change." -- Cheryl Strayed
15. "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new." -- Socrates
16. "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." -- Maya Angelou
17. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." -- Barack Obama
18. "When you grow rapidly and experience such deep insights that you can no longer look at yourself or the world in the same way. Be kind, allow yourself the time and space to settle into the new you." -- Yung Pueblo
19. "Everything changes, nothing remains without change." -- The Buddha